Visit the TDA Wisconsin Archives
Driving Picks Up with the Economy
Drivers traveled 261.7 billion vehicle miles in June, which is the most since June of 2010. According the Federal Highway Administration's monthly “Traffic Volume Trends” report, travel increased 3.7 billion miles or 1.4% over June 2013. This is the largest single-month gain this year and the fourth consecutive month of VMT (vehicle miles traveled) growth.
The new estimates show that American driving between July 2013 and June 2014 is at levels not seen since 2008.
“More people driving means our economy is picking up speed,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a statement.
In the first half of 2014, Americans drove almost 1.5 trillion miles. This amount is the largest since 2010 and is the fourth highest in the report’s 78-year history.
Vote YES Campaign Gaining Speed
The efforts to spread the word about the November 4th ballot measure to constitutionally protect Wisconsin’s transportation fund are underway and will ramp up in October.
The first Vote YES radio ads hit the airwaves shortly after Labor Day. The radio buy is anchored by the Wisconsin Radio Network – a network of 71 stations throughout the state. The stations range from news/talk to sports, to country and Top 40. In Milwaukee the flagship station is WISN-AM and in Madison it's WIBA-AM. To this, Vote YES added the agriculture-based network, Brownfield Ag, which focuses on Ag-related news and programming.
The radio ads will run for six weeks, running two weeks on and one week off through November 4th. The ads are guaranteed to run between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.
If you haven’t heard the ads, click here.
In addition to the radio campaign, Vote YES is placing web advertisements, primarily on news related websites, and a blast poster board showing will hit Madison, Milwaukee, Green Bay and Appleton two weeks before Election Day.
Vote Yes on the Road
A Vote YES contingent has met with a number of newspaper editorial boards over the last week including: the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (see positive editorial below), the Kenosha News, the Racine Journal Times, the Green Bay Press-Gazette and the Wausau Daily Herald, which editorializes for many of the Central Wisconsin Gannett papers. The visits will wrap up over the next couple weeks.
Vote YES has also educated potential voters, one person at a time, by manning a booth at the Great Lakes Logging & Heavy Equipment Expo, the Wisconsin Motor Carriers Annual Meeting, and the Wisconsin Counties Association Annual Conference.
The major push for press will not start until October, although Vote YES has a number of radio appearances already scheduled.
Below is some related coverage you may want to check out:
- Vote YES on “UpFront with Mike Gousha”
- Green Bay Press-Gazette editorial, September 23,
2014 – “What issues do you want Walker, Burke to address?”
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial, September 22, 2014 – “Vote YES”
- Racine Journal Times editorial, September 22, 2014 – “Time to get real about state road financing”
- Racine Journal Times, September 20, 2014 – “DOT shortfall could mean local project delays”
- LandLine mag.com (a publication of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association), September 15, 2014 – “Wisconsin voters to decide whether to protect transportation money” Note: This national association also send an email to its 4,000 Wisconsin members urging them to support the constitutional amendment to protect the transportation fund.
- Janesville Gazette, September 9, 2014 – “Walters: Transportation fund issue grows”
Congress Approves 10-Week Funding Measure
Before leaving the nation’s capital to begin full campaign mode, Congress passed a short-term continuing resolution to fund the government from the start of the new fiscal year, October 1st, through December 11th.
The continuing resolution funds programs at basically the same rate they were funded in FY2014 and also provides funding for military action in Syria.
According to Transportation Weekly, the December 11th date was not chosen at random. This date is tied up with the fight for control of the Senate.
If the GOP wins control of the Senate, another short-term extension through February or March is likely, which will allow the GOP to put its stamp on the 2015 FY appropriations bill. However, if the Democrats retain control, then the Appropriations chairmen will try to write an omnibus bill to close out the rest of the year in December.
So what does this have to do with the December 11th date? This date was chosen to accommodate Louisiana’s unusual “jungle primary” system. If neither Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) nor her principal Republican challenger gets over 50 percent of the vote on November 4th, then there will be a runoff election on December 6th. Depending on the results of the November election, this race could wind up deciding the balance of power in the Senate.
Interesting News Coverage
WKOW ABC-Madison, September 24, 2014 – "I-39/90 construction project to bring jobs, money to economy"
The Atlantic, September 3, 2014 – “Overall, U.S. streetcars just aren’t meeting the standards of good transit”
The Georgia Telegraph, September 3, 2014 – “Panel seeks way to close state transportation funding gap”
GovTech.com, September 4, 2014– “I’m Stuck: Using crowdsourcing to persuade lawmakers to invest in infrastructure”
USA Today, September 9, 2014 — “Obama administration’s highway fix could mean more tolls”
Reuters.com, September 9, 2014 – “U.S. taking halting steps to plug infrastructure funding gap”
Greater New Orleans Times-Picayune, September 10, 2014 – “Committee examines ways to boost funding for state’s transportation needs”
Calendar of Events
Save these Dates
- TDA Annual Meeting: Wednesday, November 19th. There will also be a cocktail reception the evening of November 18th. More information coming soon.
- TDA Fly-in: March 25-26, 2015
@TDAWisconsin, Now on Twitter
Racine buses. Green Bay port. Rail lines in Superior. Waukesha Airport. Roads we all use. WI’s transpo network: heart of our economy.
Follow TDA for the latest in transportation news.